Open houses are great to visit if you aren’t completely ready to purchase a house. Ask the realtor any questions you have about the house or the process of buying one. Get acquainted with things to check for when inspecting a home. If you’re very interested in the house, it’s a good opportunity to learn more about the property, seller’s reason to sell, and inspect for any issues.
Here are x questions to ask at an open house in Canada:
1. Why is the owner selling the property?
One of the most important questions to ask. Be prepared to hear something uncomfortable. The reason could also be something simple like downsizing, moving to another province or city for work, or moving into a bigger house. If they are on a strict time limit, they’d be willing to negotiate.
2. How long has the house been on the market?
In a competitive market like GTA, you’ll rarely see an open house. It’s likely the property’s priced over the market average and that’s why it’s taking so long to get sold. Ask more questions. What is the average time it takes for a property to be sold in the neighbourhood? Any major problems with the house? Is the seller interested in negotiating the price?
3. What’s the neighbourhood and neighbours like?
You might be looking for a friendly neighbourhood where neighbours talk to each other, celebrate holidays together, or have their kids play with yours. You would be disappointed to find out afterwards that the neighbours keep to themselves.
4. Are there any issues with the house?
As a home buyer, expect to have some minor issues with the house but stay away from one with major issues. It could be issues with the house, location, or neighbourhood. Road noise throughout the day and night, leaky roof, cracks in the wall, issues with the mechanical systems, or loud or rowdy neighbours.
5. How much do utilities cost every month?
Are the appliances recently updated? If yes, the utility bill will be lower than a house with older, energy-consuming appliances. Other things that could hike up the bill include poor insulation, bad windows, and outdated heating and cooling system.
6. Is there a history of water damage, pest infestation, or roof damage?
Consider the answers as a potential alert of what you might be dealing with in future. Ask for receipts and detailed answers on how the issue was fixed. If they experienced the same issue repeatedly, that’s not a house you should be buying.
7. When were the appliances and electrical last updated?
Ask whether circuit breakers trip frequently. Check if lights flicker when any appliance is turned on. What’s the amp power like? Ask them when the refrigerator, dishwasher, dryer and washer, and cooking range was updated. Old appliances are electricity guzzlers, so if you genuinely like the house, be prepared to either switch out the appliances or pay heavily for the utilities.
Always work with a real estate agent in Brampton, someone who knows about the neighbourhood you’re interested in and can answer your questions satisfactorily.